Prevention of Pandemics & Slow Motion Disasters: What Each of Us Can Do
Prevention of Pandemics & Slow Motion Disasters: What Each of Us Can Do
UNHEALTHY DIET–BY FAR THE LEADING CAUSE OF EARLY DEATH & DISABILITY IN THE WORLD:
1. Non-Communicable Diseases (Heart Attacks, Strokes, Diabetes, Cancer, Dementia, Etc.)
2. Climate Change 3. Antibiotic Resistance 4. Pandemics 5. Poverty & Malnutrition
1. Even before COVID-19 (See PREVENTION OF PANDEMICS & SLOW MOTION DISASTERS below) unhealthy diet with too much meat, animal products, salt, sugar, processed and “fast” foods, and not enough plant-based foods, was the leading cause of early death and disability in the world.
2. The Lancet Commission: “Unhealthy diets pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, and alcohol, drug, and tobacco use combined.” (And this was before COVID-19)
3. “About one-half of U.S. adults have diet-related chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes” (U.S. HHS & U.S. Dept of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th ed. 2015.) In addition diet and obesity alone are responsible for 40-55% of all cancers.
4. Tragically, unhealthy diet has now resulted in long-term suffering for our children as well. For example, in the US “Type 2” diabetes used to be called “Adult Onset” diabetes. However because of unhealthy eating habits this devastating disease is now also occurring in our children. So in spite of all our medical advances and trillions in healthcare costs, the US Surgeon General reports that we may see “the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents”
5. Unfortunately, people world-wide have adopted our “developed” countries’ lifestyles. These global changes in diet have become the leading causes of WHO’s three “Slow Motion Disasters” of 1.Non-Communicable Diseases (Heart Attacks, Strokes, Diabetes, Cancer, Etc.) 2.Climate Change and 3.Antibiotic Resistance.
6. For example, The Lancet reports “Civilization is in crisis… intensive meat production is on an unstoppable trajectory comprising the single greatest contributor to climate change.”
7. Over 80% of U.S. antibiotics are used on factory farms to prevent infections due to living in filth, stress and overcrowding. Although this feared world-wide epidemic has not yet occurred, CDC reports “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time-Each year in the US…more than 35,000 people die.”
8. And now, in addition, we face the increasing frequency of global pandemics of COVID-19, SARS, Bird & Swine Flu, Ebola and other zoonoses due to wet markets, factory farms and our excessive use of animals for food.
9. Our current pandemics were long predicted by CDC & WHO infectious disease experts. Although meat-eating cultures differ in the availability, advertising & taste preferences for various animals, we each contribute to the increased risk. For example see: Animal Markets and Zoonotic Diseases in the United States
10. As long as we have factory farms we will also need virus research labs. These are essential for the rapid development of vaccines & drugs for treatment of current and future pandemics. However lethal animal meat related viruses are now mutating too rapidly for new drugs & vaccines to be developed in time. And viruses escaping from these labs can also cause pandemics.
11. The UN (Preventing the next pandemic-Zoonotic diseases and how to break the chain of transmission) reports: “COVID-19 is one of the worst zoonotic diseases, but it is not the first…75 per cent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic… The drivers of this trend–including climate change and increased demand for meat–are on the rise.”
12. Poverty & Malnutrition. It takes much more land, water and other resources to support livestock eaters than plant eaters. As these become scarcer, poor families are no longer able to support themselves with adequate food. The UN reports this as agribusiness “Land Grabbing” which affects millions of poor families and also leads to violent regional conflicts and migration. Children, again, especially suffer with malnutrition alone contributing to half their unnecessary deaths.
13. Biblical Standards & Guidelines. According to Genesis 1:29 & 30, God’s original plan for mankind was vegetarian (Eden was actually vegan). It was only after “The Fall” that supplementation with animal products became necessary for nutrition, at least in some parts of the world. However, our modern day consumption of animals for food is nothing like that of the Bible. And very few animals are now treated in accordance with the Bible or other ethical principles. So though the Bible permits the use of animals for food when necessary, it definitely prohibits the way over 95% of our animals are now raised. It is our unnecessary consumption and ongoing support of factory farms and their practices that is the problem. See The Bible’s Teachings on Protecting Animals and Nature for numerous specific references.
14. Climate Change–The Big Three: Evidence-based Project Drawdown lists 1) Reduced Food Waste, 2) Health Education (Especially of women & girls) and 3) Plant-Rich Diet as the 3 leading solutions to the prevention of climate change. As the first two are primarily corporate and government responsibilities, plant-based eating is the most important thing we as individuals can do (Far more important than electric vehicles, recycling, etc. combined). For those who choose to continue to eat meat, their choice of meat remains critically important. These solutions have also been strongly promoted by the UN, WHO, USAID and The Lancet Commissions.
The evidence for all of the above is now overwhelming. Please also see Additional UN, WHO and U.S. HHS Evidence-Based Guidelines with hundreds of additional supporting references.
The GOOD NEWS is: This is nearly ALL PREVENTABLE!
WHAT DIET SHOULD PHYSICIANS RECOMMEND?
See the following UN, WHO and U.S. HHS evidence-based resources
(All are available Free for Downloading)
I. PREVENTION OF PANDEMICS & SLOW MOTION DISASTERS (Five Scientific Evidence-Based Blessings of Plant-Based Eating) One sheet (two page) handout with additional UN, WHO and U.S. HHS scientific references. English / French / Mandarin / Spanish
A. The Biblical Archeology Society has documented that the diet followed by the people of Israel during the time of Jesus was also Whole-Food Plant-Based: “bread was the food staple…included locusts, eggs, vegetables, pulses, fruit, and olive oil…People also ate fish in a variety of forms…Meat itself was a rare luxury.” In addition, though the Bible permits the use of animals for food when necessary, it definitely prohibits the way over 95% of our animals are now raised. See The Bible’s Teachings on Protecting Animals and Nature and the documentary film Eating Mercifully. Also Joyful, Compassionate Eating—Honoring God’s Creation (Download Free From the Christian Vegetarian Association. Also available in Spanish and Other Languages). Also Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation, Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians and numerous others. So for those who follow the Bible, from an evidence-based as well as Biblically-based standpoint, our current problems could be prevented by simply following the example of Jesus.
B. See Best Practices in Global Health Missions Health Topics pages for numerous additional Biblical and WHO evidence-based International Standards & Guidelines documenting the above. For example, the Nutrition page includes the original studies on Whole-Food Plant-Based Nutrition: Missionary researchers Burkitt & Trowell who worked with the WHO and (though little known in the US except for Burkitt’s Lymphoma) are recognized “Founders of Modern Nutrition.” Their work in the 1960s continues to be re-confirmed by our most respected medical journals, for example: The association between dietary fibre deficiency and high-income lifestyle-associated diseases: Burkitt’s hypothesis revisited (The Lancet Dec 2019).
C. HEPFDC Nutrition Education: See Illustration 38 A & Illustration 38B and the corresponding HEPFDC Handbook lessons for WHO guidelines in numerous languages on the DOWNLOAD FREE page. The need for a B12 supplement: The only potential downside we have been able to find to a vegan diet, especially those that include much processed, fast and other “junk foods.” However, B12 is also needed for all people over the age of 50, regardless of their type of diet. See additional information as reported in Lesson 38B
II. WHAT EACH OF US CAN DO–EVIDENCE-BASED LIFESTYLE MEDICINE (The most rapidly growing field in US and global medicine)–ALL are now promoting a Biblical Lifestyle and Whole-Food Plant-Based Eating.
A. American College of Lifestyle Medicine Numerous free guidelines available to non-members. See especially the following 3 simple guidelines that EVERYONE CAN DO: Nutrition, Whole-Food Plant-Based, and Whole-Food Plant-Based for Children.
See Create a Free ACLM Account for access to numerous additional free evidence-based resources.
For med schools, residency programs, allied health education programs: See especially Culinary Medicine Curriculum and Lifestyle Medicine Course Syllabus (See also Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance (LMGA)
B. One Healthy World. English, French, Mandarin, Spanish. “…learn how what you eat can help you improve blood sugar, lose weight, control blood pressure, and more!” from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine See also “GOOD NUTRITION” and “HEALTH TOPICS“ pages. Also Nutrition for Kids. Website includes recipes and numerous other free resources in multiple languages.
C. Nutritionfacts.org Find out what the latest science is saying about your favorite foods to help you make the healthiest choices. Excellent evidence-based free videos on more than 2,000 health & nutrition topics. Includes Free Recipes
D. What Diet Should Physicians Recommend? Video Nutritionfacts.org
Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets
36 page manual for patients (From Kaiser Permanente): Plant-Based Eating-Eat healthy, live better Spanish:La dieta basada en planta
E. American Medical Association / Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology Partnership See especially: Resources for the PublicResources for Health Professionals
Gaples Institute/Harvard School of Public Health Healthy Plate, Healthy Planet Course.
F. Culinary Heart Disease Video (Includes Amer. College of Cardiology & Amer. Heart Assoc. Guidelines). Also documentary film Forks Over Knives Also Free Recipes
G. Sustainable healthy diets – Guiding principles FAO and WHO. “Two of the major challenges of our times are malnutrition in all its forms and the degradation of environmental and natural resources. Both are happening at an accelerated pace… a need to focus on plant foods ”
H. Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter “raising cattle for beef has the biggest impact on the planet of any single human activity. It produces about 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases and uses one-third of the world’s fresh water…A vegetarian eating pattern had the lowest impact on all sectors: CO2 emissions, water depletion, land use, and pollution of freshwater, oceans, and the air.”
I. Healthy Kids Happy Planet Website for children and teenagers based on above evidence-based guidelines.
J. School Gardens for Health Projects Includes federal and state education curricula and references.
K. Youth 4 a Sustainable Future Includes groundbreaking examples of how teenagers and schools are addressing the above problems. See also video
L. American Medical Association Policy Statement
Documents and illustrations created for the HEPFDC are open-access (freely available) and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License…
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